Subsidies must end, Miliband tells farmers

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Indy Politics

British farmers were warned yesterday that they can expect an end to all subsidies for growing food by 2020, when the only payments they will get from the public purse will be as managers of the landscape.

The warning came in a speech by the Environment Secretary, David Miliband, to the Oxford Farming Conference, which also heard from the Conservative leader, David Cameron.

Mr Miliband said: "We need an industry that is profitable in the marketplace. It will continue to produce the majority of the food we consume and contribute to our exports - but there just isn't a food security argument for taxpayers to subsidise food production."

He also urged farmers to generate less pollution and to switch to "energy crops" that can be used to generate bio-fuel.

Mr Cameron called for "far more rigorous and transparent food labelling" to allow consumers to buy British. "Many people want to eat British wherever possible," he said.